Norway's Seafood Exports Plummet by Record 18%

Norway's Seafood Exports Plummet by Record 18%

Katarina Larsdottir
2 min read

Norway's Seafood Exports Experience a Record 18% Decline in June

Norway's seafood exports faced a significant setback in June, plummeting by a record 18% to 12.1 billion kroner ($1.1 billion) in comparison to the same period last year. This decline marks the unprecedented fall of over 2 billion kroner in a single month, attributed primarily to "biological challenges" at salmon farms, including issues such as sea lice, diseases, and jellyfish, impacting the country's economy. This drop is particularly worrisome as seafood is the second-largest export industry for Norway, following oil and gas. Despite being the leading global supplier of farmed salmon, with over half of the market share, Norway exported 93,400 metric tons of salmon in June, reflecting a 4% decrease from the previous year. Christian Chramer, the head of the Norwegian Seafood Council, acknowledged the arduous first half of the year, marked by reduced slaughter volumes and a shift towards increased fillet production due to these biological challenges.

Key Takeaways

  • Norway's seafood exports observed an 18% drop in June, a historic low.
  • The 4% decrease in salmon exports significantly impacted the overall seafood industry.
  • "Biological challenges" at farms led to reduced slaughter volumes.
  • Seafood stands as Norway's second-largest export industry following oil and gas.
  • Norway dominates the global farmed salmon supply, holding over 50% of the market share.


The challenges faced by Norway's seafood sector, particularly in the salmon industry, have produced widespread biological impacts, influencing the stability of exports and the economy. The 4% reduction in salmon exports suggests broader disruptions within the industry, affecting global markets and the local economies reliant on seafood. These short-term repercussions encompass financial losses for farmers and exporters, while the long-term effects may necessitate fundamental shifts in industry practices and investment strategies. Furthermore, Norway's dominance in farmed salmon might face potential threats, necessitating policy reforms and technological innovations to mitigate future risks.

Did You Know?

  • Biological Challenges at Salmon Farms:
    • Sea Lice: Parasitic copepods that attach to the skin of salmon, inducing stress and potential mortality. Control methods include chemical treatments, cleaner fish, and mechanical procedures.
    • Diseases: Various pathogens can affect salmon, including infectious salmon anemia (ISA), leading to significant losses. Risk management involves vaccination and stringent biosecurity measures.
    • Jellyfish: Blooms of jellyfish can disrupt aquaculture operations, obstructing nets, and competing for food, ultimately reducing survival rates of farmed salmon.
  • Norwegian Seafood Council:
    • Role: The Norwegian Seafood Council operates as a public business organization under the Norwegian Ministry of Trade, Industry, and Fisheries, tasked with globally marketing and promoting Norwegian seafood, conducting market research, and facilitating the industry's adaptation to market changes.
    • Activities: The Council endeavors to boost the demand for Norwegian seafood through diverse initiatives, including consumer education, trade marketing, and participation in international seafood expos.
  • Farmed Salmon Supply Market Share:
    • Global Dominance: Norway's large share of the global farmed salmon market, exceeding 50%, stems from its advanced aquaculture technology, sustainable practices, and favorable natural conditions for salmon farming.
    • Economic Impact: Fluctuations in Norway's salmon exports possess a substantial impact on both the Norwegian economy and global seafood markets due to its significant portion of total seafood export value.

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